- Our municipality has the second highest millage rate (7.50 per 1,000) in Brevard County (Satellite Beach is first at 8.14 per 1,000): http://www.brevardpropertyappraiser.com/images/pdf/2010_final_millage_chart.pdf
- Our city's total debt has significantly increased by almost 98% from $100,666,124 in 2003 to $214,659,657 by September 30, 2009: http://www.palmbayflorida.org/finance/financial/documents/cafr2009.pdf (see page 158 of 193)
- Palm Bay has the second highest unemployment rate in Brevard County at 11.4% in October 2010 (Titusville has the highest unemployment rate at 13.1%): http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet
- We have the Red light Cameras: http://www.palmbayflorida.org/police/citizen/red_light_cameras.html
- A childhood obesity resolution voted in by three of our five Council Members which will "encourage" our schools to adopt a food and health initiative by ordinance (The resolution was handed down from our federal government by the First Lady, Michelle Obama, called the "Let's Move!" campaign which is being proposed in every Municipality and County in the Country - Click on "Item 3. Resolution 2010-67, supporting the Let's Move! campaign to solve the challenge of childhood obesity."): http://palmbay.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=763
There are myriad of other things I left out. However, these are my top five, and based on these results and the worsening recession (some might say depression) in the overall economy, things may not get any better - or will they?
If there is at least a spec of light at the end of this long tunnel, it will most certainly not come from City Council. Yes, I know Council Member Kristine Isnardi has continuously championed smaller government, lower taxes, and more property rights. She voted against raising taxes, against the red light cameras, against every attempt at government-growth and over-reach, and gave us more transparency: http://open.palmbayflorida.org/.
Mayor John Mazziotti, along with Kristine, is tackling the out-of-control debt (and he even voted against the Childhood Obesity Resolution). But we know it takes three to make a majority. The bad news is there aren't anymore Kristine Isnardi's and John Mazziotti's in City Council. So, based on this mere observation, we can come to the conclusion that more tax rate increases, more debt, and less individual liberty, as well as less property rights awaits us all. Right? Well... maybe.
You see, there may be three Council Members who may get their wish, but according to the recent number of individuals who voted for Kristine Isnardi's conservative values, there are over 15,000 people who share the same liberty-minded views. Although only 49% of registered voters casted their ballots in the recent election, that is potentially the view of 57% of the entire electorate (or 34,706 registered voters) http://www.votebrevard.com/index.php?id=415. Now you're probably asking yourself, "Does that mean I have to wait until 2012 to see any changes?" The answer to that question depends on us.
We have the option of doing nothing, next year, and wait until the following year to vote with our feet. However, there is another option, and that is, we can vote with our voices next year in 2011 (and 2012), as well as with our feet the following year in 2012. In other words, in the year 2011, when an agenda is put on the table to grow the size and cost of government, to raise the debt-ceiling, to raise taxes, and to take more of our individual liberty and property rights away from us, are we going to take a back seat and do nothing while we complain, or are we going to do something about it, when the issue comes up? Once again, the answer to that question depends on us.
As I pointed out previously, that potentially over 15,000 people voted for Kristine's conservative values. But! If only 1% showed up at almost every Workshop and City Council Meetings, then there would be at least 150 citizens voicing their concerns, and giving their opposing views to unfavorable agendas. 150 people showing up, is a significant number for a small city like Palm Bay. Moreover, it is more than significant to change people's minds, especially those sitting on City Council. Recently, I shared with you how ten or more citizens - just like you and me - voiced their concerns about a potential power-grab of the citizen's Boards and Committees. That agenda was tossed, because a few individuals decided to show up http://palmbayfreedom.blogspot.com/2010/12/citizens-board-remain-independent.html. I wonder what 150 individuals can do?
In conclusion, as Christmas approaches and we enjoy our time off with the family, let's also think about a New, "New Year Resolution" for 2011. Let us resolve to get involved in our local government and make positive changes that will have a positive impact in our community.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Years